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International

Fresh Israeli airstrikes on Gaza kill five more Palestinians

Gaza: Two fresh rounds of Israeli airstrikes on the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Younis Wednesday evening killed five more Palestinians, including a three-year-old girl, authorities said.

Israeli war jets fired missiles on a house and killed four people, including the girl and a woman. The fifth victim was killed in a separate airstrike on a house in town, a Gaza health ministry spokesperson said.

Swedish court upholds arrest warrant for Assange

Stockholm: A Swedish court Wednesday upheld the arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has stayed in Ecuador's embassy in London for two years to avoid extradition over allegations of sexual assault.

Judge Lena Egelin said Assange was still suspected, with probable cause of sex crimes and therefore, his detention order remains in place, Xinhua reported.

The judge added that the decision could be appealed.

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Digital mass surveillance must be independently checked: UNHRC

Geneva : United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay Wednesday warned the dangerous practice of digital mass surveillance must be subject to independent checks and balances.

A "disturbing lack of transparency" has been witnessed in governmental surveillance policies and practices, including private sector companies, to provide sweeping access to information and data relating to private individuals without the latter's knowledge or consent, Xinhua reported citing a report released by Pillay's office as saying.

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117 illegal miners arrested in South Africa

Johannesburg : The South African police Wednesday confirmed the arrest of 117 illegal miners after a multi-sectoral raid on the unlawful mines in Mpumalanga province in the eastern part of country.

The police said the illegal miners were from Lesotho after the specialised team consisting of Bomb Squad, Tactical Reaction Team (TRT), Public Order Policing, Crime Intelligence, K9, Airwing and National Intervention conducted the sting operation, Xinhua reported.

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Activists target only large firms with good reputation?

New York : Large companies with prominent brand images and good corporate reputations are more vulnerable to be "named and shamed" by activists than their less prominent counterparts, says a study.

"Companies that had all of these characteristics were nearly guaranteed to be a target of activism," said Tim Bartley, lead author of the study and associate professor of sociology at the Ohio State University in the US.

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Nepal's oldest Communist party gets new leadership

Kathmandu : Khadga Prasad Oli has been elected the new president of Nepal's oldest Communist party CPN (UML), party officials said here Wednesday.

The election was held during the ninth general convention of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) that kicked off here July 3, Xinhua reported.

Oli, 62 and a former deputy premier of the country, defeated his rival Madhav Kumar Nepal, a former prime minister and a general secretary of the CPN (UML) for 15 years, by a mere 44 votes.

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Bobby Jindal still mulling 2016 White House run

By Arun Kumar,

Washington : Louisiana's Indian-American Governor Bobby Jindal will not make a decision about a White House run in 2016 until after November as he tries to make his Republican Party "stop being the stupid party.

"We've said it's something we're thinking about, praying about. It's something we're considering. But we won't make a decision until certainly after November," he told Time Magazine in an interview.

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BRICS summit to change course of 21st century

Fortaleza (Brazil) : Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has said the decisions taken at the BRICS summit will change the course of the 21st century, media reported Wednesday.

"The BRICS have made very important decisions to change the political and economic world order," Xinhua quoted Maduro as saying.

The bloc has "decided to create a development bank with $100 billion, and a commercial and financial system among its members to use its local currencies instead of US dollars", said Maduro.

Top Boko Haram commander arrested in Nigeria

Abuja: Police in Nigeria have arrested Mohammed Zakari, a senior commander of the Boko Haram sect, blamed for killing hundreds of people since 2009, a police officer said Tuesday.

Zakari, 30, was linked to the recent killing of seven people, including women and children, Xinhua quoted police spokesperson Frank Mba as saying in a statement.

The suspect was arrested Saturday following a massive onslaught by security forces against the activities of insurgents in the Balmo forest in Bauchi State in the northeast, Mba added.

BRICS voices disappointment with non-implementation of IMF reforms

Fortaleza (Brazil): The world's leading emerging economies Tuesday expressed their disappointment with the failure to implement the 2010 International Monetary Fund (IMF) reforms.

"We remain disappointed and seriously concerned with the current non-implementation of" the IMF reforms, said a joint declaration of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, collectively known as BRICS, Xinhua reported.

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